Archive for June 1st, 2007

Amnesty International warns of abuses by Venezuelan police

June 1, 2007

And Amnesty International warns the Chavez administration again, this time on the way protestors have been treated this week and says abuses should be avoided. In fact, in the area Of San Antonio de los Altos, 72 students were jailed and held without having contact with lawyers for 48 hours which is a violation of Venezuela’s laws. Meanwhile, the Prosecutor has criminalized protests, which is not part of the country’s legislation. Venezuela’s legislation punishes blocking the street only if you can cause disaster with it or if you are doing it to commit a crime.

Meanwhile that pantomine of a People’s Ombudsman German Mundarain holds a press conference to do what his always does: defend the Chavez administration and not the people. Mundarain spent half an hour doing what is not his job, saying that this is all of “destabilization plan” against Chavez and his Government and forgetting the mandate he was give by the Constitution of defending people’s rights.

So, it is left to organizations like Amnesty International to raise the alarm, when tehy say:

“there have been cases of excessive force on the part of police officers…until May 29th. 182 people ahd been detained, among the, 107 minors, while only 56 people have been released including 7 minors…AI calls on the authorities to insure that police corps under its command make use of force only when it is strictly necessary and in a proportional manner…”

Amnesty International also warned about the conditions under which some minors have been held, saying there shoudl be special attention to minors as required by international regulations.

June 1, 2007

Daily El Carabobeño ran this empty front page today with the sub-title below

Can you imagine life without information?

Pinocchio. TVes la nariz? (Do you see your nose) by Laureano Marquez

June 1, 2007

Pinocchio. TVes la nariz? (Do you see your nose) by Laureano Marquez

On Tuesday, on an obligatory nationwide TV (cadena), they told us the tale of Pinocchio (How curious, how strange and what a coincidence!: a TV station is now considered to be dignified when it shows cartoons while people protest in the streets). A Pinocchio of the XXIst. Century, who has nothing to do with the capitalist ideology with which Walt Disney has sold us history, almost centenary of Carlo Collodi. It happens to be, in this version, of an endogenous puppet that interprets the dialectic process of society, who does not lie, but strips off the facts of its ideological content, molding reality for each circumstance. Thus, for example, according to the latest part of the tale:

· An opposition student is not necessarily a student.
· If he is a student, he is being manipulated, has no convictions
· If they have convictions, they are the ones of the Empire that thru the CIA, buys consciences.
· If the CIA has bought them, it is to use them as meat for the slaughterhouse (A terrible statement when it is made by the owner of the slaughterhouse.) and the irresponsible parents.
· They are numerically insignificant, only the tricks of the mediatic manipulation make them appear as a crowd.

On the other hand

· The pro-Chavez student is a conscientious and critical being.
· He marches because of his convictions. Nothing is behind him.
· He can reach the Miraflores Presidential Palace because he is part of the “people”
· There are always millions of them.
· Their parents do well in letting them march, they are young and should have a conscience, not go lazing around like the other ones.

But on top of that:

· Actors do not suffer, they are trained to cry
· If violence is exercised on the part of pro-Chavez forces (including the use of weapons) it is not violence, it is part of the defense of the pretty fatherland.
· When someone in the opposition calls for a demonstration, he is a conspirator. But if, from the heights of power, you convoke your supporters to instill fear, it is the pretty fatherland that is being protected.
· The image of the attempt on John Paul II’s life is an invitation to kill Chavez.
· And last, it was not a shutdown, it was the end of the concession. How many times am I going to say it!

These and many other things came out of the mouth of Pinocchio. Nobody dared say it, but they all noticed that the nose was growing and growing. It was so public and noticeable that people were trying to get away from him to avoid being hit by it. It was very curious, by the way, that the more it grew, the less the sense of smell. Meanwhile, Jiminy Cricket, “in an infinite chant of peace”, travels around the streets of the country, shouting to the world that in this country there is still conscience and hope. It is no surprise that some have begun calling that crowd of crickets that whistles in the streets “The generation of the 28th”*

*This is the name of a group of students that in February 1928 dared to confront Dictator Juan Vicente Gomez and later became teh political leaders of Venezuela’s nascent democracy. Monday was May 28th….

Students to march tomorrow after quiet day

June 1, 2007

Protesting students met today at Universidad Simon Bolivar to be in an environment protected from the police and decide what they will do next and hold a press conference with the press to explain their plans. They announced they will be marching tomorrow to the National Assembly to “request that the Deputies rectify” in their attitude towards their movement, what they stand for and their right to defend their ideas, ideals and the right to free speech. The march will begin in El Paraiso, in Western Caracas, and end at the Capitol building, although late tonight the students did not yet have the requiere permits.

The Brazilian Senate voted to ask Chavez to reverse the decision to shut down RCTV, which the President not only rejected tonight, but as usual he became a little insulting accusing Brazilian Senators of being subordinated to the interests of the US. This is not likely to sit very well with Brazilian politicians who are not only very Patriotic, but also very independent and less obsessed with the US that our President.

Some pro-Chavez Deputies held a press conference purportedly to show how politicians were controlling the student movement, but the illegally obtained conversations basically showed conversations that any two people in Caracas may have had this week, discussing their involvement or lack thereof in the latest protests. The most laughable part was the threat of using these tapes in building cases against those involved, given the illegal nature of them. Once again this shows the lack of checks and balances in Venezuela, as clearly the Government is taping telephone conversations of its enemies routinely, in violation of the Constitution, the laws and the rights of those involved.

Armando Daniel sends these two wonderful pictures

June 1, 2007


Armando Daniel sent these two spectacular pictures of two wonderful Venezuelan species. On the left is a Cattlleya Violacea and on the right a Cattleya Mossiae alba. Nice, aren’t they?